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A Convenient Litmus Test

- For the bike-mad, the most glorious of Boston races has always been the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic , not the Marathon. Alas, a purported lack of interest took Fitchburg down. (Might we credit the amazing success of the Pan-Mass Challenge?) So even before last week’s events, with just a hint of being bummed, I would’ve admitted that the Marathon overshadows anything related to the bike. But following those horrors, the meaning of the race to New England America has taken on massively more meaning than before. Regardless of the sport, it might now be our country’s most important sporting event.

When last week’s manhunt played out, I naturally thought of my industry pals in Boston. The offices of Craft are in the ‘burbs somewhere. And not far from the heart of the city is Craig Gaulzetti of framemaking fame. But for some reason I stone cold knew that Seven Cycles is located in Watertown. I have no idea where the Seven crew actually lives. But, like most of us, work is more home than home itself, and it was their faces I imagined as the events unfolded. To Seven, to Boston, to the world — Peace, normalcy, and more bikes…please.

Vintage Vandermark

- This is probably the best book you’ll ever read about Chechens. I highly recommend it.

- This is probably the best book you’ll ever read about Armenians. I highly recommend it. And if you’re a fan of the rock band Neutral Milk Hotel (a convenient litmus test for detecting if I’ll like someone) I’d be curious whether you get hung up on how much the book is reminiscent of the song ‘Holland, 1945.’

Retail

Bicycle Times cover

- This is probably the best article you’ll ever read about Li’l Wayne. I highly recommend it.

- This is probably the best app you’ll download on your phone this month. Is anything more passé than Yahoo? Probably not. But who isn’t completely and entirely disgusted with the weather.com experience? Its popping, pinging, ads-first, content-last approach to page design is a visit-killer. Thank you, Yahoo, for integrating Flickr so beautifully and providing just enough weather data for someone who doesn’t care to know more than if I’ll need armwarmers (and a rain vest) or not. I highly recommend it. In fact, my only criticism is the fact the app icon is old-school Yahoo cartoon fugly. How about an icon that befits the app’s elegance?

- This is probably the best profile you’ll read of a PRO this season. It zeroes in on exactly what I was focused on during Paris Roubaix — that Damien Gaudin has the ugliest form on a bike since Fernando Escartin traversed the Alps in his carcass-picking bird crouch – proving that Velominati.com is the best road site on the whole internet.

Jered Gruber - MSR Oh man